The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and Columbia University have jointly acquired the archives of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, which includes some 23,000 architectural drawings, 44,000 historical photographs, large-scale presentation models, manuscripts, extensive correspondence, and other documents. This joint stewardship will provide new opportunities for publications, exhibitions, and public programs, allowing the late architect’s work to be displayed in the context of other 20th century modernists.
Complete physical materials will be permanently transferred to the collections of Columbia and MoMA, with the Foundation retaining all copyright and intellectual property responsibilities for Wright’s body of work. Archives will be renamed “The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).” Columbia University’s Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library will hold all paper-based archives including thousands of architectural drawings, extensive personal and professional correspondence, personal and architectural photography of Wright’s work, interview tapes, transcripts, and films. MoMA will house all three-dimensional works, including architectural models—many of which were designed for his 1940 exhibition at the museum, architectural elements and design prototypes, with regular displays and special exhibition to be coordinated to complement MoMA’s existing collections of modern architecture and design.
“The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation takes seriously its responsibility to serve the public good by ensuring the best possible conservation, accessibility, and impact of one of the most important and meaningful archives in the world,” says Sean Malone, CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. “Given the individual strengths, resources and abilities of the Foundation, MoMA and Columbia, it became clear that this collaborative stewardship is far and away the best way to guarantee the deepest impact, the highest level of conservation and the best public access.”
As part of a three-institution “Archives Steering Committee,” the Foundation will help guide the development of the archives while continuing to preserve and share Wright’s National Historic Landmarks at Taliesin in Wisconsin and Taliesin West in Arizona.
To learn more visit franklloydwright.org.